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Redundancies at Christmas – a case of bah humbug from employers?

I was asked to write a post on my thoughts about making redundancies around Christmas time.  I’ve found a few articles like this one  giving tips for employees who may be facing redundancy around Christmas but how do employers cope with contemplating redundancies at this time of year?

Lots of things are said about employers who make redundancies in December and they’re not often good things.  It’s easy to point the finger and make the employer into the villain of the piece.  Although I wouldn’t expect any employee facing redundancy to be feeling benevolent towards their employer, I do think that employers should be cut some slack.

I firmly believe that no decent employer takes redundancies lightly at any time of year.  I’ve watched people agonise over making the decision to start redundancy consultations and I’ve seen people do everything they possibly can to avoid letting employees go.  That gets magnified at Christmas time – nobody wants to be the baddie; the employer who doesn’t care about anyone’s feelings.

It’s fair to say that if an employer has decided to make redundancies in the run up to Christmas, they’ve already taken the timing into consideration.  They’ve already thought about waiting until January and weighed up the potential consequences of doing so.  Mostly, the decision has been made for them by the financial implications of waiting versus proceeding with consultations and discussions around potential redundancy.

It’s clear that no time of year is good to tell some or all of your employees that they no longer have a job.  Employers who do so around Christmas time are fully aware of the timing implications and that forces them to consider their actions even more carefully and to examine every other available option before issuing any “at risk” letters.

The harsh reality is that just because a decision is a difficult one doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be taken after due consideration to all the variables, including the time of year.

If you’re an employer struggling with redundancy decisions and options, give us a call today on 01487 815720.

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